Pattern School

Pattern School

Fabric design is calling me...


In order to create fabric designs I have to learn about fabric.

babushka doll

Reactions that my own artwork create on swatches. Although I have tried many designs in my Design gallery on Spoonflower, not every design works. I have experimented and learned so much in this last year. But there is so much to know.


The different types of fabric and what things they are best used for.


Then when my swatches arrive, I need to ask what kind of things might
someone make with these fabrics.


I have been searching fabric places,

Goodies from Tinsel

Looking at nature for shapes and colors.

Top of Winter Bella Rose Candle

Browsing through blogs and videos that show off the art of patterns. And then there are those incredible aisles and aisles of bookshelves in the library. Filled with books by Patternistas like Kaffee Fassett, Mary Engelbreit, Laura Ashley and Mary Emmerling.

Chasing Patterns

I don't sew, so it doesn't come naturally to me to know what one might create out of different kinds of patterns.

The Fairy Lake Christmas

Yet, I am thinking that it is a bit like watercolor painting. The best paintings are not necessarily created by someone who can draw. These paintings focus on the color and shapes of things.


So, here I am lost in the land of fabric design and feeling so thrilled. I can't wait for my Spoonflower order to arrive. I tried fat quarters of their dreamy Sateen Cotton.


My goal is not to learn how to sew, because the Lord knows I failed bobbins and I can't even thread my sewing machine. No, I think I'll leave that to the talented people who sew. Instead I am going to create fabrics for those people.


Perhaps a marriage between some incredible seamstress and me creating dreamy one-of-a-kind designs just for them to use for their creations.

I needed a new medium to create with, I have been at a bit of a creative crossroad. I am entering new worlds for me, and so the song for this post is Worlds Outside performed by dreamy Chris Botti.

Sharon's Cottage Quilts said...

Oh Karen, I am so thrilled and excited for you! I am on the edge of my seat to see your creations in fabric! Oh my, I am just beside myself!!! My the Lord bless your hands as you move in this new and exciting direction.

Blondie's Journal said...

I would love to help you with the sewing, Karen, once I return from Vegas and teach myself. Long story...

I love all the fabric swatches. And your 'test' paintings. The only time I worked with fabric was when I learned the art of Batik. I so enjoyed using dye as paint and wax to seprarate the colors. What a fun process.

Best of luck to you, sweet lady!


Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Karen, you are amazing. Your talent oozes out from all directions! So you can't sew; what you can do is far above what one seamstress can do!!!! Lovely, just lovely. Anita

Diva Kreszl said...

simply lovely...continue to use your art for fabric design...we all benefit from your creativity!

Vee said...

Karen, this is very exciting. What a great idea to create patterns and designs. Now that you mention it, I can see so much of your work used in this way. Have great fun!

Beverly said...

Karen, this is so exciting. I would love to see what some of the talented seamstresses could create with some of your designs.

Snap said...

This is exciting! What fun you will have with the fabric designs. I'm looking forward to seeing!!

Fifi Flowers said...

Looks like you are BUSY!!! VERY nice work!

Bellamere Cottage said...

Spectacular....Congratulations on your adventure!

Best wishes,

She'sSewPretty said...

Karen! I am echoing everyone else! I can't wait to see your fabric. I know it will be wonderful!!

Gabriela said...

Hello Karen,

Your idea is terrific!
You design the motifs and seamstress put them on fabric.

~ Gabriela ~

Lynn@ The Vintage Nest said...

Hi Karen, Being at a crossroads is a good thing I think. Something new and exciting and wonderful will happen. How fun to design for you. I sew but it is not my favorite thing to I love creating my pillowcase dresses but the sewing part is not my favorite. It's stressful and not soothing to me. LOL...hope this made sense. xo

Mary Isabella and Kiley too! said...

I know they will all be so very beautiful!!!!...m.

Kathleen Grace said...

bric design is something I have been so intrigued with! I can see the Christmas caroller fabric as a darling pillow with the children marching across and surrounded by a ruffle in a co-ordinating color print! I can't get the other pictures big enough to see what they inspire me with, but I know they would make something beautiful!

Elyse said...

wow karen! how very cool to be designing fabrics. i love your watercolors. the fabric will be wonderful!


Claudia@DipityRoad said...

My darling Ms Karen,
Last night I read where you asked if I had recieved your card?

I hadn't but I ran this morning to the town house next to mine to see if per chance they had some mail for me. Our mail carrier is known for putting mail in the wrong box.

And sure enough!! Thank you so much from the bottm of my heart. I showed my neighbor and she was just as impressed as I. She could not believe someone i didnt REALLy know in person would send such a divine gift.

Thank you so much! From the bottom of my heart! I will put it right next to my bed and look at it each night when I retire.

Biggest of hugs!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Talent with a capital "T" is what you have, Karen. I think this is very, very exicting!


Sheila :-)

Amisha said...

You too? I have been drawn more and more towards painting on fabric this year too (outside of silk scarves!).